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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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London Heights - 1901London Heights School

The Third Ward stretched north from State Avenue to the Missouri River between 7th and 10th Streets in the town of Wyandot and was an early home to many African-Americans and whites as well. It, too, became a mostly African-American community after the turn of the century. The 1855 Territorial Census showed a total population of 1,944 in Districts 16 and 17, wherein lies today's Wyandotte County. It also listed 56 slaves and 19 "free Negroes." By 1865, there were 11,622 residents in Wyandotte County, 1,323 of whom were African-Americans. African-Americans were by far the largest minority in the area, foreign born citizens and Native Americans numbering 552 and 259 respectively.

Abbott - London Heights Picture Gallery




Other Names: Abbott School

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1889 - First school in two-story frame house at 14th and Virginia (later Richmond). Known as London Heights School. Frank Colvin and Mamie Shipley taught eight grades in two rooms.  Named for area in city.

The London Heights Home and Improvement Company, through C. B. Pierce, sold Lots 19-28, Block 16, London Heights Addition, to Board of Education. Priced $30 a foot with the promise from the company to furnish money for six-room school and take payment in warrants. Deeded August 1, 1889.

Contract to T. C. Russell on July 31, 1889, for two-story, six-room, brick building.

1890 - North wing building occupied September, 1890. Frank Colvin, Principal. Mamie Shipley, Jennie Taffe, Noye McClean, Josephine Cosgriff, Ruth Hill, teachers.

Difficulties in financing the building of the school arose.  The London Heights Company reported to the board that the company was not responsible for $12,000 for a new building.  The board voted to negotiate with the banks to pay off its indebtedness on new buildings at 10% or less interest.  The company said it would take $1,000 to get matters straight.

Misunderstandings hampered the building's progress.  Certain persons had made a "savage attack" on the site when the ground was purchased.  Questions arose as to the title and price.  Mr. Gibson, board member, reported a perfect title on May 8, 1890, and by September, London Heights School was ready.  A south wing was added later.  Four teachers taught eight grades under Frank Colvin, first principal.  Stoves heated the school.  There was no sewerage, and a long bench in front of the building held water buckets and dippers for thirsty students.

1893 - Children paid a $1 a month for tuition as there were no operating funds.

1895 - London Heights and Armstrong closed for a period of time because of scarlet fever and diphtheria. 

1899 - During 1896-99 overcrowding was a problem at London Heights.  The principals of London Heights, Wood, and Walker reported to the board in answer to complaints by patrons about punishments given the children.

1903 - On September 3, 1903, the name of London Heights School was changed to Abbott.

Addition by architect W. W. Rose.  The original building was designed by W. F. Hackney.  Address shown as 2003 N. 15 Street.   (Rose and Peterson Architects, 1994)

Ward Boundaries

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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